Sold-out women's football friendly canceled over pay dispute
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) A friendly rematch of the Women's European Championship final was canceled by Denmark's football federation on Tuesday after wage talks collapsed.
The friendly between Denmark and the European champion Netherlands on Friday was sold out in Horsens, western Denmark.
The Danish federation DBU said it offered a 46 percent wage increase to the team that includes professional and amateur players. But it said the Danish Football Players' Association wanted a 342 percent raise and demanded all players were hired by the DBU.
''Ultimate demands'' led to the game's cancellation, the DBU said.
''This is a deeply regrettable situation and we are really sorry to disappoint the many fans who, like us, have been looking forward to this football party,'' DBU spokesman Kim Hallberg said.
Denmark captain Pernille Harder, a member of the players' association negotiation team, said she was ''disappointed,'' and urged the DBU to return to the negotiation table.
''It is definitely not our wish,'' Harder said of the cancellation. ''Of course, we need an agreement in place to be able to play.''
The Netherlands beat Denmark 4-2 last month to win its first European women's title. Denmark knocked out six-time defending champion Germany in the quarterfinals and reached its first final after losing five previous semifinals.
In April, the U.S. women's team struck a new collective bargaining agreement with its federation, ending more than a year of at times contentious negotiations, with players seeking comparable compensation to the men's team.